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Wyoming Business Tips for Oct. 18-Oct. 24


October 12, 2009 — A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center, part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Elizabeth Parks, Market Researcher, Wyoming Market Research Center
eparks@uwyo.edu
(307) 766-5405

I keep hearing about the importance of keywords in building Web sites. Are they really all that important? Won't people find me anyway?" Jack, Pinedale

In my last article, I talked about the importance of linking strategies in web optimization. Second in importance to links are keywords. I know this term gets used and abused a lot, but it is still a top-ranking web strategy for online sites. The most common problem I see with businesses and organizations is that they are not implementing keyword strategies to improve rankings and visibility. For example, I recently ran across an article highlighting the need for universities to be more SEO savvy, Best College Sites Named, Sep 2009, http://www.higheredmorning.com/best-college-web-sites-named.

Competition has never been more fierce for enrollment dollars, especially with online universities growing at a fast pace. And, yet, most educational institutions do not implement SEO strategies as they build or rebuild their Web sites. They often make the mistake of thinking people will find them using only their brand name. Institutions need to research how people are searching for higher education products and services. What words are they typing into the box to find college and program information? What if they are looking for a specific program and not an institution name? What if they are comparison shopping for MBA or PhD programs? What if they are searching for general registration, research library, online course, admissions or international information?

All of these words should be included as keywords. And don't leave out the typical program names like biology, business, fine arts, nursing and agriculture.

You can test the effectiveness of your keywords by using a web analytics tool such as Google Analytics, a free tool that provides lots of quantitative data to answer questions such as:

-- What keywords are being used to find you?
-- Which search engines are being used?
-- Where in the world are these searchers?
-- Which of your pages are being viewed the most?

Having this kind of data will be invaluable as you move forward in your SEO strategies. The great part about Web sites is that they are always dynamic and can be changed at the click of a mouse, resulting in more visitors to your site.

This is just one example of how keyword strategies are not being used to their fullest capacity. How is your website doing? Do you know? The searching strategy described above can be used for any business.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments is available at http://www.wyomingentrepreneur.typepad.com/blog/

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, e-mail wsbdc@uwyo.edu or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY 82071-3922.

 

Posted on Monday, October 12, 2009

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